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2024 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Mike O’Laughlin, TE, University of Houston

Mike O'Laughlin the big and physical tight end from the University of Houston recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot
Mike O’Laughlin the big and physical tight end from the University of Houston recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot
  • Name: Mike O’Laughlin
  • Position: Tight End
  • College: University of Houston 
  • Height: 6’5
  • Weight: 250
  • Twitter: mikeola87
  • Instagram: Mike.loo.loo

What makes you a top prospect at your position in the 2024 NFL Draft? 

  • My ability to not only be a force in the run game but also have the skills to be split out and make explosive plays downfield is what makes me a top prospect. Being a high school wide receiver helped me develop that aspect of the tight end position but my college development has shown me what it takes to be a true well-rounded TE. I pride myself on dominating blocks at the point of attack and being difficult to take down in the passing game. 

At what age were you first interested in the sport of football? 

  • I’ve been interested in Football since I was about 5 or 6 years old. My Dad played football at the University of Illinois as well as Cal of State Northridge. Whenever he took my brother and me to local high school games we thought it was the coolest thing in the world. Since my first days in flag football, I knew I wanted to play at the highest level. 

What is one thing that NFL teams should know about you?

  • I am a true leader, I have led many teams and position groups in the past. I am a player that can be used in many different ways on the field and I possess a resilience you may not see in a lot of other prospects. 

If you could donate to one cause in the world, what would it be? 

  • Lymphoma Cancer Research is something I have been looking into more and more recently. I have a cousin who has battled with lymphoma cancer for the last few years and thankfully is in a good spot right now. His story and his fight inspired me a lot in my later years of college and to give back to a cause like that would mean a lot to me. 

What is the best advice you have ever received? 

  • “Bet on people, not places” – this has been something I’ve lived by recently. For me, it means you need to surround yourself with people who seek success to achieve success. Choosing a place over a group of people or persons can be counterproductive.  

Who was your childhood hero? 

  • My childhood hero was Kobe Bryant 

Who is the most underrated teammate in your locker room at your school? 

  • Malik Fleming 

What is your biggest pet peeve? 

  • People who don’t clean up after themselves

Who is your favorite teacher ever?

  • Joe Ori – Fenwick High School 

Overcoming adversity is what defines character, what was the hardest moment in your life to overcome? 

  • My most challenging moment was when I injured my knee in 2021 while my 18-year-old cousin was battling lymphoma cancer. Recovering from my knee and having to be away from my cousin/family at home was hard for me to balance. I felt lost and that’s when I started making changes and getting my mind focused. I had to look to the people that were around me for comfort and that helped me develop even better relationships. I was even more motivated to get back on the field and I remember some phone calls between my cousin and me talking about how we’re both going to conquer our challenges. 

Tell me something about your school and why it is so special to you?

  • Houston has a strong connection to Coach Holgerson. He was the coach I went to play for out of high school and when he left after my freshman year I knew if I ever had the opportunity, I would love to play for him again. He made Houston what it was when I was there and I loved playing for him and the University. 

If you could have any franchise restaurant in your house what would it be?

  • In N Out Burger 

What is your favorite snack food? 

  • Cool Ranch Doritos 

What is your degree in? 

  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation 

If you could sell yourself in one sentence what would you say? 

  • I am a resilient competitor that is relentless and my ability to add value wherever it is needed has been one of the reasons for my success to this point. 

If you could compare your play to one player in the NFL who would it be? 

  • TJ Hockenson 

What is your favorite game to play at the carnival/theme park?

  • Pop-a-Shot 

If you could have dinner with three people dead or alive, who would it be and why? 

  • Kobe Bryant, Joe Rogan, and Gary Brecka – I believe these 3 people have achieved success at the highest levels and are truly experts in their craft. I find willpower and the power of the mind to be fascinating hence Kobe being at the table. Joe Rogan is restless in his want to acquire worldly information and his knowledge is unparalleled. Lastly, health is something I’ve been fascinated with and Gary Brecka has opened a lot of eyes to science, athletes, and health in general. 


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